Saturday saw the final HL x/c fixture of the season at Wrekenton (sob, sob) and Striders finished with a spectacular performance! The women’s team achieved a season’s best 3rd place on the day and 7th for the season – well clear of the relegation zone. Not only that, but a further three women, Rachael B, Claire & Jules, qualified for the medium pack! The men too equalled their season’s best position of 4th on the day and they also finished in 7th place in their Division 2 with Jerry achieving promotion back to the medium pack!
Most of us were disappointed to lose the Prudhoe fixture this year but were nonetheless pleased that Vicki Thompson and her team, at the last minute, were able to arrange a second fixture at Wrekenton to replace it. Saturday was bright and breezy with a distinct lack of mud on the course, in fact, if it hadn’t been for the hills, you’d have thought you were on the track at Maiden Castle! And that’s what some of the women must have thought as Claire, Rachael, Jules, Fiona K-J et al sped off on the first lap and a battle royal ensued. Claire led the way for Striders for much of the race but Rachael had her locked in a steely glare and managed to overhaul her half way round the second lap to finish first Strider after, what she later acknowledged to be, the race of her life! Jules finished not far behind Claire to join her two club mates in the medium pack for next season – well done!
There were some great performances elsewhere in the race with our three medium packers battling through the field of over 200 runners. It was also pleasing to see Fiona K-J and Sarah complete a full set of six HL races in their first season along with Jan and Mudwoman. What a race and what a grand day out for the 13 strong women’s team.
Another big field in the men’s race of over 400 runners saw the Striders team, safe from relegation, put in a great performance. Once more Will swept through from the medium pack to finish first Strider, 26th overall and a full house of six races for the season! Jerry ran his best race of the season followed closely by Adam in his final x/c race for Striders. James continued his return to form and Rob, another ‘ever present’ for 13-14, enjoyed his first run from the medium pack – I’m sure they’ll be many more to come! Gibbo was our final counter powering round as of old to pip the much improved Dave Halligan on the line.
As always there were some fine Strider performances throughout the field. Graeme completed his six races for the season as did Mudman and Innes (just 40 seconds behind his 17 year old son Ari). It was good to see Nigel running for the first time this season (without a head torch!) and Dougie as well – taking time off from the camera. Well done everyone!
As we draw breath and assess the season we can only conclude that it’s been a great success. No less than 85 Striders have taken part in one or more x/c races this season. We’ve been represented at the English Nationals, the British Masters, the Northerns, The North Easterns, the North East Masters and, of course the Harrier League where we broke our attendance records in both the Women’s and Men’s races. There’ve been some great performances at both the sharp end and the blunt end, as Shaun would say, by newcomers to the mud and old lags as well. We’ve had some great days out and we’re pleased to say there’s always a happy and lively atmosphere around the tent. Long may it continue.
|1||Robert Foster||Tynedale Harriers||33:04|
|26||Will Horsley||35:53 *M|
|120||Rob Everson||37:44 *M|
|345||Marco van der Bremer||43:33|
*M Medium pack – 2m30s handicap, *F Fast pack – 5m handicap.
|1||Kim Simpson||Durham City Harriers||26:55 *M|
|29||Rachel Terry||28:41 *M|
|90||Katy Walton||30:00 *M|
|96||Helen Tones||30:07 *M|
*M Medium pack – 2m handicap, *F Medium pack – 4m handicap.